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Reading's 'ugly' Christmas tree causes controversy

'Ugly' Christmas tree lit in Reading

READING, Pa. - After complaints by angry Reading residents, officials confirm that the city's Christmas tree will come down.

The 50-foot Norwood spruce, located at 5th and Penn streets, has been called by many "pathetic" and "ugly."

"I know Reading is not doing too great," said Martin McNeil, who works near the tree, "but facing this tree up here is making it even worse."

"It looks sad," said Teresa Rodriguez. "It does look a little pitiful."

City council President Francis Acosta is leading the charge to replace the tree. He helped form the group, Christmas for Downtown Reading.

Acosta said the group has raised $1,000, thanks to business and community donations, and he will be looking at possible replacement trees in Cumru Township on Saturday.

"So hopefully, we'll be able to have a beautiful Penn Street-appropriate tree here by Monday night," said Acosta.

Acosta said he hopes to raise $5,000. The money will be used to pay for decorations, and part of what remains will be donated to the United Way in Reading and used for next year's tree decorations.

Officials said a new tree should be in place by Tuesday, and they hope to hold another tree-lighting ceremony the following Saturday.

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Allentown, PA 18102




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